Ms.CRANKY is a nice enough person who gets upset when people are thoughtless. That's what she writes about. Ms.CRANKY feels that it's real easy to have the world humming along kindly and even (dare she say) sweetly. You just have to use common sense and say --- "Would I want someone to swing a long pointy umbrella in my face"?
Ms. Cranky was on her way upstate by train (she
loves trains, you might know) to see her beloved relatives. It had been a long
time and she was real excited, so much so that she ran to the wrong track
first, not reading the destination correctly.
But, the one part of the train trip Ms. Cranky hates
is going down the Amtrak escalator stairs to the train as some bozoo
usually gets his or her luggage down, then stands there in a stupor while the
rest of us are being quickly zipped down the escalator and about to fall over
this person’s head with our luggage.Ms.
Cranky has before had to holler “please move out of the way” (‘there are other
people in the world’, she’d like to add.) Usually the person looks up in wonder but still
doesn’t hurry away.
So, Ms. Cranky has taken, as she hates being hit
over the head by a huge suitcase from behind, to waiting two or three escalator
steps before getting on the moving stairs
which she hopes will help the situation when she gets to the bottom.
But, not a
week ago Friday on the #281 train to Niagara Falls when this couple got
off with all their luggage and just stood there waiting for Ms. C. knew not
what. Ms. Cranky was still halfway up the
escalator and not a total nervous wreck then but she well knew the guy behind
her had a gargantuan bag with him.So, as
they got closer to the end of the escalator ride, a huge group of people was
now blocking everyone’s way off the as the original couple had not figured out quite
what they felt like doing and just stood there all goo goo eyes.
So, that’s when Ms. Cranky started hollering, at
first quietly, should one be able to holler
quietly, and, by the end when she was about to tumble over this assembled group
of people and the man behind her would pile onto her, she screamed full out (there
were no ‘pleases anymore’, no ‘please move, please’)---- ‘GET OUT OF THE WAAAYYYYY!!!!!WE’RE
ABOUT TO PILE UP!!!!’By then, the
conductor had stopped giving directions to the-all-eyes-so-innocent looking couple trying to maim us and
started shouting very loudly himself.
Ms. Cranky lives in a
walk-up and cannot be hit by a 60 pound piece of luggage. But, Ms. Cranky, even
if she didn’t live in a walk-up, would still not want to be hit by a huge piece
of luggage nor to tumble over her fellow passengers.Who would?These were adults not three-year olds, capable of buying a ticket,
planning a trip and packing a ton of stuff.But, what was that couple thinking or not thinking?And why does
Ms. Cranky end up making a fool of herself (or, perhaps a hero??? --- yeah, that
would be nice once in a while --- Ms. Cranky the hero!).
People, too many and
these were mature people here and we are not talking bombs planted here, are lost
in their own worlds and the rest of us can just fall all over the place and
hurt ourselves till they figure which way they’d
like to go --- ‘front or back? --- hoo, hum? Which way, ohh, I don’t know’ ---
hey, there are only two options and you can always change your car or seat on
the train if it’s not to your liking but you don’t always have a chance to not hurt
your fellow humans.Get a grip people!!!
as always, for stopping by.Ms. Cranky is back in her walk-up, flowers a
blooming joyfully, cat purring away, very strong coffee brewing --- home.She had a wonderful trip with her beloved
cousins and thanks them all.She came
home with lovely old family pictures, beautiful eulogies to read from a
treasured family member for two funerals.Cranky cried a lot on the train home.There were a lot of memories upstate, good ones, good people ones, she
was lucky.And, she was also lucky to
get there in one piece by acting like a crazy screamer and she’s glad she
again for stopping by, enjoy this God-given spring.When Cranky walks a dog for her friends, they
always stop at two yards full of, like full of, violets.
Cranky, April 29, 2013 --- who loves and cherishes Amtrak and its kind (and
often cute workers like the guy in the Club Car on the way back--- yikes) ---
Cranky could have spent all her money going back just to see his beaming smile.
Which reminds Crankky of her quote of the day ---
Some people make you feel so special and others make you feel invisible.Cranky votes for
the former.Special is such a good way to go about the world.
BECAUSE IT’S HARD TO REPEAT THINGS MUCH AS SHE OFTEN WANTS TO
Ms. Cranky was on her way out of town to a conference, lugging her suitcase which is heavy empty (‘whatta you want for $40 and wheels that haven’t fallen off in 14 years --- Samsonite?’) and she was just at the bottom of the stairs near the subway when she heard it making getting-ready-to-leave sounds and Cranky began hollering real loud --- ‘Please hold, Please hold’ to two young women just boarding.But, they both ignored Ms. Cranky like totally ignored her and she finally got on the train at the last second by hurling her suitcase through the subway door till she could get in.She was flabbergasted that neither woman had paid her any attention when she looked down the aisle and saw a lovely woman in veil shaking her head sadly at Ms. Cranky, commiserating on how unresponsive the women had been.
Ms. Cranky wanted to holler to the whole subway car --- “Welcome to our worldof now!!!” but, of course, she didn’t.Instead, Cranky thought (kindly) --- ‘maybe those women had those things dangling from their ears and couldn’t hear Ms. Cranky, yeah, maybe that’s what happened.’Ms. Cranky always tries to see the good in the world though that has caused her a lot of heartache.But, when she looked to see if the women had those wire things dangling from their ears, they didn’t, and, in fact, one of the women was just inserting them into her waiting ears as Ms. Cranky looked on.
It made Ms. Cranky sad, like the people that read their phones while walking in front of her and move at a snail’s pace.Read in the library, why don’t you???Read at your damn kitchen table, not on the street and, surely, not going up the stairs from the subway when people are dying to get up and out. It made her sad that some people didn’t care about others, actually, lots of people, it seemed of late.What had happened to her world???The world that had been her playground?
Cranky tries to be helpful almost all the time, unless she’s in a trance which can happen, and this uncaring behavior hurt her soul.If you care, your soul can hurt a lot but Cranky still thinks it’s worth it --- caring.
But, onward and upward --- when Cranky arrived at Penn Station with her heavy-even-when-it’s-empty suitcase, a young man asked if he could help her carry it down the stairs and Cranky was touched and, then, another man held the door for her and Ms. Cranky’s spirits quickly rose.You probably know this already but Ms. Cranky’s spirits rise very easily with thesmallest of kindnesses and consideration so she decided these two guys outweighed the two women back in Brooklyn.It takes so little to make Ms. Cranky happy, so little, she feels lucky in that regard.
In Boston, people were so helpful, Cranky almost couldn’t control herself.They just jumped to help her with directions and very good directions at that which was lovely because Ms. Cranky, who thinks of herself as a great traveler and prolific with directions and maps, could not find her way around that city very easily as the signs left a lot to the imagination.Ms. Cranky mentioned the problem she was having a few times to Bostonians who said that signage and directions were a real problem in their city which struck Ms. Cranky as sooo very strange because she thought that the Boston area had a university or college every other block.So, Cranky assumed (and who wouldn’t?) that the area would be full of smarty pants people who would install good clear signs.
But, instead, Ms. Cranky had to rely on the average most-helpful citizen for assistance and they were wonderful but they pay taxes --- shouldn’t there be good signs for out-of-towners so, maybe, they could be about their other business on any given day? Ms. Cranky wonders about a lot of things, things that should be so simple that are made unnecessarily not so.Why muddle life more when it can be muddled enough on its own? --- she always thinks.
The conference trip was a frustrating one which Cranky wasn’t expecting for many reasons --- finding her way on public transit was harder than usual, a major snow storm came as soon as she arrived off the old BOLT bus and left streets and sidewalks overwhelmed with snow and freezing slush that went through Ms. Cranky’s only pair of shoes she had with her.She had truly loved this conference a few years ago but this year it was so crowded that Ms. Cranky could not get near most of the sessions she wanted to get to in her wet clothes.But, not to be daunted, Ms. Cranky loves to dance and there was a disco at night.So, she ran up to the hotel with the dance the first night and found it too overly-crowded and, mostly, the dance floor was quaking beneath her and even though someone assured her that the floor could hold all the vibration, it put a damper on Ms. Cranky’s already damp spirits --- like her wet socks, shoes, hair and coat.
Ms. Cranky’s memories sometimes defeat her.She is a hopeless romantic, very hopeless sometimes.And, she cherished the memory of the other conference a few years back in another city, the first one she had attended.It was in a smaller locale, she could get a seat to hear speakers and the dance floor surely didn’t shake and, in fact, Ms. Cranky and a new-found friend were the only people up dancing and then they pulled everyone up from around them and they all danced and hooted and hollered and laughed till Donna Summers (so sad Donna’s gone) sang.People on the way out were laughing and happy and thanking Ms. Cranky and her friend for urging them to get up.It was so much fun but it didn’t happen like that again.
And, at the ‘other’ conference, it did not snow --- well, a flake or two.The problem with Ms. Cranky’s very powerful good memories is that they can make her miserable as she wants everything to be the same as it was that other time, when because of a job, she had only one day and one evening to spend but it was like miraculous, every bit of it.She can recall each moment.
Ms. Cranky has the problem of always wanting to repeat things that she loves but that is hard to do. She is like a five-year old child clinging to her dreams.Ouii.In time, Ms. Cranky couldn’t wait to get home on the BOLT bus with the lovely (and cute!) driver and knelt on the floor inside her door when she got home, by the eastern-facing window, and thanked God for letting her get home safely --- to start again.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day, sun's sneaking out here. Ms. Cranky. March 20, 2013
Ms. Cranky went out to hear music at her old local bar late on the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day and it was nice except that it was the last day for a very old bar and it was to be closed and ‘refurbished’ and Ms. Cranky and most of her neighbors feared that meant like changed and fancied up and “only for upscale people, not the likes of you!” ---which most of the new food and drink places in Ms. Cranky’s once more ‘mixed’ area, now had become, for the gentrified folk.
Ms. Cranky, and she has said this before in her columns, is still surprised that some of the gentry in her area still cannot tell the difference between paper and metal recycling and, in fact, in her building, actually change it totally around???She is amazed anew each time that if you are a person with a good job (or parents) to pay the vastly increased rents, and you be able to read the word ‘paper’ and know it doesn’t mean your old bean cans.
So, it was fun but sad yesterday afternoon but, then, Cranky remembered a place up the way that had FREE FOOD on St. Patrick’s and used to have people just drop in with musical instruments and play in this lovely rounded alcove area, so Cranky hiked up there and looked for her cat’s upcoming birthday present on her way.But, though there was free food, always nice, there was no music at all, Irish or otherwise on this St. Patrick’s Day. Apparently, the people had stopped coming by on Sunday nights to play music quite a while ago, she was told by the waitress which made her sad.
One of Ms. Cranky’s lovely memories of this place is the story she heard from the people who worked there.They had assumed that after 9/11, which was on a Tuesday, that no one would show up for that Sunday’s evening of music-making --- but, that didn’t happen.They told Ms. Cranky that, in fact, a huge crowd of people and more musicians than ever came in and played their hearts out that evening, that Sunday after the horrors of 9/11, trying perhaps to bring back our lives, however they could.Ms. Cranky has long cherished that story and wanted to pass it on to you.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone and tomorrow is St, Joseph’s Day and Ms. Cranky’s beautiful cat’s 7th birthday.Cranky has always loved St. Joseph and felt he got short shrift in the PR department of the Catholic Church. Maybe the new Pope can change that one!!!
Thanks for, as always, stopping by.‘May the wind be ever at your back’, etc.
Ms. Cranky had paid her bill in full to the Dental School well over a year ago, like 15 months ago. But, the few times she went into the school to get a check-up or something, they said ---“You owe this amount of money, you owe this amount of money” and Ms. Cranky always replied --- “But, I know I paid that bill, I remember paying it so I feel okay coming back in again (Ms. Cranky is sort of ‘old-world’ in things like this). So, because of thinking she owed money, Cranky stayed away from the dental school as she was in arrears (a great old word --- don’t you think?) and her teeth got more and more in arrears and after Christmas this year, so many months later, her January bank statement showed her fairly hefty check, her wonderful, duly paid check to the Dental School.But, though the bill had been paid 15 months ago in September, 2011, they had not deposited Cranky’s check until December 21, 2012 and it kept Ms. Cranky from seeing the dentist, which, as it turns out, could have really helped her.Ouii.
Ms. Cranky loves the excitement of getting a new monthly MTA card because Ms. Cranky loves to travel, loves to move about her beautiful city and its boroughs.And, it’s a symbol to her of a month ahead --- what might happen, what she might do, whom she will see or meet anew.So, Ms. C. gave herself extra time on the day she needed a new card (ya gotta always give yourself extra time with machines in case they don’t recognize your payment or have some other kind of hissy fit that day.)But, all went well for once. Ms. Cranky veered between three machines at her local subway station as some had good days on Tuesday, some on Thursday and she had picked the machine that took her card without huffing and puffing and gasping and saying the frustrating “try again.”So, Cranky was on a roll, this was a snap and she entered her zip code as requested and the machine replied “Thank you for your payment,” and “Please take your card” and she was ready for yet another month!!!
Cranky, almost arrogantly (because when things work, Ms. Cranky can get carried away with herself) entered the turnstile and zipped her card through but was abruptly stopped short by the bar which held her back and when she looked at the electronic sign at the turnstile, it read --- “insufficient fare.”She tried several more times and got the same block.The woman at the MTA booth (Ms. Cranky thanks God there are still ‘real people’ working in some of these places!) ran her card through and came up with nothing on it, like the whole transaction and zip codes and “thank you very much” had not happened.But, she didn’t want Cranky to buy another card because she might have already been charged for this one.So, she let Ms. Cranky through which was very nice of her and for the next few days until she dared try again, Cranky had to take lots of change and use her card bus by bus, train by train, until she was sure that the “thank you for your payment” hadn’t been registered to her charge card.How does that happen?
Ms. Cranky, as always, thanks you for stopping by and would love to hear your stories of things not working.We could write a book or, perhaps, a series of books.Have a great day and remember to always give yourself extra time because things don’t always ‘work’ as they should, could, might, etc.And, most often, not as you planned!!!
Ms. Cranky was coming home from a long, long subway ride and a wait for a volunteer job that didn’t work out.She changed trains once again through the long Court House Square Station in Queens to get the “G” train home to her, now, cat- sitting job.Suddenly there was this loud hollering in her ear and two, one quite tall, young boys were talking to each other but hollering though they were but three feet away from each other and could have talked normally.The noise reverberated even more in the long underground of the low-ceilinged corridors of the huge station.And, Ms. Cranky’s nerves weren’t the best after a long trip with no results except for a very nice grilled cheese sandwich, thank you very much.
So, Ms. Cranky did what she often does when people are hollering behind her.She stepped aside and let them get in front of her and holler in someone else’s ear.Nice person --- huh???Cranky did notice that the one boy was awfully cute and, for a bit, envied him his energy, annoying as it was to her peace of mind.
Several thousand stops later or, so it seemed, Ms. Cranky emerged from the “G” train to run errands before the beloved cat job.As she was moving quickly along the corridor at the Carroll Street Station, there walked the taller of the two boys, beside her --- “was she being followed?”
As they got to the end of the, again, very long narrow corridor, and to the enclosed staircase (worse for noise), the boy started hollering again, this time, at a hugely high level and right into Ms. Cranky’s ear.She turned to glare, hoping to stop him but he kept wildly screaming back to his friend.Ms. Cranky is not sure what she did then, hurried as fast as she could up the stairs to get away from this craziness for sure, and she thinks she might have been waving her arm back to indicate --- ‘please, please stop screaming, enough already!’ And she knows she swore, but, quietly.
But, out on the street, a shocking thing occurred --- the young boy caught up with her and APOLOGIZED, like apologized for screaming in her ear, like apologized like people used to do!!!This was totally a shock to Ms. Cranky, a very pleasant one but a shock nonetheless --- an apology!!!Wow, sometimes, it takes so little to turn the day ‘round.
Cranky was touched, shocked, bowled over.She thanked the lovely-looking, if not always sounding, young man with the great haircut, for apologizing.And, then Cranky added --- “Maybe I’m jealous; maybe I just wish I had your energy --- if only for a moment!”
Happy THANKSGIVING to one and all and thanks for stopping by.It’s a lovely holiday though in the New York area muted this year.It’s hard to enjoy the day like we usually do with so many of our citizens suffering so since the hurricane, so many are still without, it hurts us all as we are joined, thank God, we are joined.
MS. CRANKY HEARD ABOUT BEYONCE AND JZ SPENDING $400,000 A MONTH RENTAL ON A HOUSE IN THE HAMPTONS AND WONDERS ---
It may not be true, you can’t always ‘trust the media’ but it was reported on the news late last week that Beyoncé and JZ and Baby Blue (though she doesn’t sign the checks yet), rented a place in the Hamptons for $400,000 a month, a month, not a year, not buying.
Ms. Cranky didn’t get really upset over the discrepancy in her money and theirs but she did get incredulous.Not only about where does one get that kind of money but --- isn’t that a lot for a house for one lousy month?
Cranky well knows that there are very rich people in the culture, some in her neighborhood (!) and there are sports figures and rock stars along with the ordinary Wall St. types but this $400,000 summer rental is bowling her over, it must be bowling the poor little baby over, or maybe they have a bowling alley too.Ms. Cranky feels that if you rent an expensive home in the Hamptons, you really need a bowling alley. I mean George’s on Route 5 just won’t do.I mean, you’ve gone all the way out to Long Island, you’re lost in the beauty of the dunes and the long lovely-sounding grasses, you’re at a wonderful private beach, there’s a pool, so, of course, you’d be lost without bowling!
Maybe Cranky got her facts wrong while being bowledover --- ha, ha, ha.In fact, Cranky is getting so confused she might need a bowl of Wheaties --- ha, ha, ha.
So, as Cranky does when she can’t deal with things, she puts them aside and reads a book or does a puzzle that makes her so mad she can’t think of anything else. But, the next day, it came back to her and she began thinking of the amount once again, thinking of what she had earned for most of her life and trying to figure out how many years it would take to save up $400,000 if she had to spend nothing for food, rent, bus fare, etc. --- 16, sixteen years, actually, maybe more like 20, when she thinks of some of those years.It was easy; she did the math in her head on the subway.Wow.
She wonders if that fee includes paper towels? Salt and pepper, good salt and pepper, not those little paper things Ms. Cranky steals from fast food places.Is there mustard for the hot dogs? Ya’ gotta have hotdogs --- it’s summer.A wine cellar --- hmm, now things are starting to look up, fully stocked, of course?
Ms. Cranky will refrain from making any comparisons to the lives of this family (they work for their money) and her life and some of her friends’ lives.
$400,000!Wow, that could buy Cranky a nice little apartment, maybe in an elevator building and an apartment newly crisply painted.And, then, she’d be able to live the rest of her life, using coupons still and cooking daily, but she could take her nephews on trips and, maybe, be able to afford a little, well mid-sized, doggie.
She would still donate which she does now but she’d have more to donate.Currently Ms. Cranky is valiantly trying to refrain from giving money to every subway station musician or group but it’s hard, real hard, especially when the subway musicians carry heavy things down the stairs to set up --- how can Cranky not tip them with their drums and tubas and, sometimes, there’s this guy with a piano???I mean, come onnnnnn!
(Cranky once told a guy on the “F” train that she always tipped musicians who were ‘on key,’ but the person, a sort of jaundiced-in-attitude type but she liked him anyway, said that he ‘always tipped the ones singing off key --- hoping they’d stop!!!’There are some things Ms. Cranky just can’t forget.And, why would she want to???)
It’ll be hard for her to get over thinking of $400,000 rent for a house at the shore for one month but, then, of course, if there’s a bowling alley --- that would explain everything.
Ms. Cranky, Monday, August 13, 2012, a lighter air day
Thanks for stopping by, as always.Have a great end to your summer, however and wherever you get to spend it.
(An explanation --- Ms. Cranky was one of the worst bowlers ever.It was embarrassing how bad she was, especially coupled with how hard she tried.But, the one thing about bowling she remembers she liked was the ambience of an old crumby bowling alley on some highway on the outskirts of town with its neon signs, horrible run-down shoes and permeating smell of stale beer.Who would give up that?)
Ms. Cranky loves a good bodega, those little stores all over the city with either bright red and yellow signs or paler, faded-looking signs.Cranky doesn’t know if the latter signs are bought faded (like, it’s the style) or they become faded.She’d like to think the latter.
Bodegas have all the little odds and ends one needs from newspapers to snacks to an ice cold bottle of water.Where Ms. Cranky taught this spring in East New York, there was a shiny clean bodega that even had a small butcher in the back.They’re usually family-owned and operated.There is often a cat, whether legal or not.Neighbors and family members hang out talking; sometimes they sit at a table in the back and play cards or dominos.A bodega is a cherished New York City institution, so when Ms. Cranky heard that over 100 brand new shiny ‘7-11’s’ were going to open in the city, she felt heartsick.
There’s nothing wrong with a ‘7-11’ (maybe, out on the highway would be nice!). They’re bright and fluorescent-lit and seemingly clean but they’re A CHAIN, a huge chain, and, though you can get very nice staff, they’re not family-run, they’re not intimate, they’re not different one from another and there will be no one playing cards in the back and certainly no cat sitting on the cash register.Latter story below:
Once there was a wonderful Korean bodega-deli in Brooklyn (‘bodega’ was once used for stores run by Spanish people but is now universally used for all small marts, no matter what nationality). In that wonderful friendly shop, the cat sat on top of the cash register and the two twinkly brothers who ran the place often seemed to not want to move her so they could make their transactions.The place was on a once very rough corner where Cranky waited for the bus. It was considered then the most dangerous corner in Brooklyn (now, of course, it’s ‘trendy’).So, Ms. C. was always glad for respite from her bus wait and the brothers sold single roses for one dollar and Ms. Cranky loved to get one to take home.
But, the real story of this place is that when the two brothers decided to return to Korea after 35 years in business here (to care for their older brother), the neighborhood was bereft. Because, besides the cat sitting on the cash register and the lovely single roses, the two had been feeding for all those years many a needy person.They never announced it, no one knew, but when they got ready to leave the area, word got out and there were all these wonderful well-deserved newspaper articles about them.
Maybe Cranky’s wrong, she hopes she is; maybe the ‘7-11’s’ won’t cause hurt to the bodegas, delis, mini marts, she so treasures but when she read that first article about the chain moving in, it was presented as a big threat so she’s worried and wonders if anyone else is?
Quality of life is not about bright and shiny, we all know that.
Thanks for stopping by.Ms. Cranky hopes you have a wonderful weekend and would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of this column.Ms. Cranky, though everyone knows she’s cheap, err, frugal, has always tried to support small stores as much as she can --- because she likes them, because they’re a comfort, because you can buy one onion when you need it and because people smile and wonder how you are and where you’ve been and there’s usually a cat she can call by name and, sometimes, pet.
Ms. Cranky, Friday, July 27, 2012, Brooklyn, NY --- slightly cooler, rough storms yesterday, hope everyone’s okay.